In Malaysia, air conditioners are undoubtedly one of the most popular appliances due to our hot climate.
Customers usually struggle to decide whether to buy an inverter or non-inverter air conditioner.
A common misconception about air conditioners is that inverter air conditioners don’t save money if they aren’t run long enough. Actually, this statement isn’t always true…
This article will provide a more in-depth understanding of the differences between inverter air conditioners and non-inverter air conditioners.
What are the differences between inverter and non-inverter AC?
The main difference between inverter and non-inverter air conditioners is that inverter air conditioners can regulate the speed of the motor rather than constantly turning them on and off.
Non-inverter motors can only run at fixed speeds and shut off when the room temperature reaches the desired level.
Inverter vs non-inverter aircon power consumption
The main concern of most people is the difference in power consumption between inverter and non-inverter air conditioners.
The fact is the power consumption of an air conditioner is highly dependent on its usage pattern and the room condition in which it is placed.
For example, a mismatch between the air conditioner’s horsepower and room size can cause a non-inverter air conditioner to run continuously at full power. Thus, it resulted in no electricity savings at all.
Nevertheless, an inverter AC should always be more energy-efficient than a non-inverter AC. Let’s check out the specification data from Panasonic Malaysia.
- 1.0HP Standard Non-Inverter Air Conditioner CS-PV9TKH-1 – 840W
- 1.0HP Standard Inverter R32 Air Conditioner CS-PU9VKH-1 – 710W (225 to 920W)
Considering the current TNB tariff, it costs RM 0.218 for every kWh. So for every hour of operation, it will cost us:
- Panasonic 1HP non-inverter – RM0.18
- Panasonic 1HP inverter – RM0.15
So, it shows that inverter AC consumes approximately 17% less electricity than the non-inverter model even though it is just counting based on average power input.
It is also important to note that using the inverter air conditioner for longer hours can further benefit from the inverter motor’s ability to lower its power to as low as 225W.
Pros and cons of inverter air conditioner
Inverter air conditioners generally have more advantages than non-inverter models, but they also have some disadvantages.
The main disadvantage of the inverter aircon is its high price. The cost of inverter models is usually 20 to 30 per cent higher than the normal aircon.
Let us check out all the pros and cons of the inverter air conditioner.
Advantages of inverter air conditioner
- Save Electricity
Inverter aircon is more power efficient and can vary its speed based on room temperature. Inverter aircon can save 20 to 40 per cent on your electricity bill.
- Less Noise
Inverter aircon does not start-stop as per regular aircon. In addition, it can operate at a low speed, which results in a more silent operation.
- Even Cooling
An air conditioner with an inverter continuously maintains a consistent temperature, while a non-inverter can experience temperature fluctuations that can cause discomfort.
The inverter compressor motor runs continuously without the need for constant stop-start cycles. So the motor is more durable.
Disadvantages of inverter air conditioner
- High Price
The initial cost of an inverter air conditioner is higher. There is also a higher cost for the installation labour. But these costs can be recouped by saving on electric bills.
- High Maintenance Cost
Inverter air conditioners are more expensive to repair and maintain than regular air conditioners. Since inverter air conditioners have a more complex structure, they are harder to fix if they break down.
Pros and cons of non-inverter air conditioner
Advantages of non-inverter air conditioner
A non-inverter air conditioner is always cheaper than an inverter air conditioner of equivalent horsepower. Non-inverter air conditioners also cost less to install and maintain.
- Easier to maintain
Maintenance of non-inverter air is more simple and more affordable. Spare parts for non-inverter air conditioners are usually readily available.
Disadvantages of non-inverter air conditioner
- Use more electricity
Non-inverter air conditioners use more electricity. Hence, the electricity bill can shoot up considerably, especially when you’re using it for long hours.
Unlike inverter air conditioners, non-inverter air conditioners always run at full speed and the sound of the motor starting and stopping can be unpleasant.
- Less comfortable
A non-inverter AC will stop running once the room reaches the desired temperature. The air will feel stagnant and warm for a short period, which is very uncomfortable and might disrupt your sleep.
Does non-inverter AC consume more electricity?
Yes, the non-inverter air conditioners consume 20% to 30% more electricity than inverter air conditioners.
Should you buy an inverter aircon?
Yes, if you can afford it, you should buy and install inverter air conditioning to save energy and it is more durable too.
When not to install an inverter aircon?
You don’t need to install an inverter aircon if you are only going to turn it on for short period like 1 to 2 hours, occasionally. The saving on electricity will not be significant.
Does inverter AC take a longer time to cool?
No, this is incorrect since an inverter will run at full power when switched on, just like a conventional AC. Hence, the time it takes for a room to cool should be the approximately same for both types of AC.
How many hours to use an inverter aircon to save electricity?
Due to the way inverter motors work, inverter air conditioners are always more energy efficient than non-inverter air conditioners, regardless of how many hours they run. To achieve optimal savings in electricity, it is recommended to run an inverter air conditioner for prolonged periods, such as 5 to 10 hours. This is due to the fact that the initial cooling phase takes more energy.
Air conditioners with inverters are certainly more energy-efficient, quieter, and more comfortable than non-inverter air conditioners. The downside is that they are more expensive to purchase and maintain.
If you still can’t decide which type of air conditioner to buy, check out our detailed air conditioner buying guide.